Complexity of Social Interactions in Collaborative Learning: The Case of Online Database Environment
Interdisciplinary Journal of e-Skills and Lifelong Learning
This study examines and classifies patterns of interaction in a collaborative database learning environment (Google Docs) by analyzing interactions between 44 graduate students in an Open University course. The patterns of interaction were examined according to a model that tested the degree of collaboration in an online learning environment (Weinberg & Fischer, 2006). The purpose of the study was to examine how the participants reach consensus in the process of database construction. Advanced
... omputer technologies constitute a useful communicative environment for collaborative learning and provide platforms that support interactive learning characterized by collaboration. They facilitate mutual supervision of content studied, development of real-time learning strategies, debate, and cultivation of thinking skills. This gives rise to the following questions: How are the various parameters of interaction expressed in an online database learning environment? What patterns of group interaction develop and how do they do so in this collaborative online environment? The findings of the study present a number of different patterns that develop in this kind of environment and show that the patterns of interaction that emerged did in fact reveal different levels of complexity. It seems that the collaborative environment of the online database contributes to the development of complex patterns of interaction while performing tasks.